On Wednesday January 10, Van2017 in conjunction with the Government of Vanuatu provided some unused biodegradable products to the food vendors at the Mamas Market in Port Vila. On hand from the Government of Vanuatu was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu.
The Government of Vanuatu recently announced a ban on single use plastic bags in Vanuatu that will be introduced in 2018. By June of this year, Styrofoam takeaway boxes and plastic bags will be banned. As Minister Regenvanu announced—this is a move that will help protect the environment in Vanuatu for future generations. The Minister highlighted that the products that Van2017 provided today breakdown and disappear in the landfill within 90 days and are made of bamboo, whereas Styrofoam containers last for years and are made from oil.
As part of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games initiatives, Van2017 took steps very early to provide a “Greener Games”. Van2017 did ban the use of plastic bags as well as styrofoam cartons at the venues, and purchased certified biodegradable products to be used for the serving of the approximately 110,000 meals consumed during the Games. Also, in partnership with Platinum sponsor – Vanuatu Natural Azure Pure Water, a recycling program for plastic water bottles was instituted. Additionally the Champions Program that was initiated by Van2017 and delivered to over 50,000 primary students in Vanuatu featured a curriculum on caring for our environment. With the partnership of Gold Sponsor Pacific Energy, over 1300 sandalwood trees were planted in Port Vila as well, as part of Van2017 and Pacific Energy’s commitment to the environment.
Van2017 CEO Clint Flood said that it was important that the 2017 Pacific Mini Games led some of these initiatives in helping to reduce the environmental impact of the Games. These Games were more than just about sport, they were a chance to make a difference and a legacy in a number of areas and the ongoing support of environmental initiatives is one of these legacies.